Describe a situation that you’ve felt you’ve been wronged.

Describe in as much detail as you can why you’ve been wronged. Describe that person.

Did you describe them with any positive words?

How did the situation make you feel? Who was involved? How did it radically change you values? Your opinions of others? Your generalized opinion of the world? How did you have to change your life?

Define the word “forgiveness” without using a dictionary.

Can you forgive whoever did you wrong in the situation? Even if you choose not to forgive right now, what good could come of forgiving that person?

Put yourself in the place of the person that did you wrong. How could their childhood played a role in the incident? How do you think they felt when they did you wrong?

How does it feel to forgive the wrong-doer? And in what ways have you grown?

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For some reason Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Out” popped into my head and I was carefully cycling home tonight from work. I mean, yeah – I’m a little crazy for biking in -20. But today it’s out of necessity. And cycling is fucking therapeutic. Movement and motion is fucking therapy. I mean, I would have done it anyway if I did have gas in the Tiguan, but today wasn’t by choice because it was a nice day for a ride.

The line “It’s always darkest before the dawn” really echoes with me today.

I had $3 in change to pay for groceries today, thankfully I had $20 to redeem but I had to get crafty to hit just over $20 to be able to use that reward. $23.74. Thank God.

That’s how close to poverty I am right now. I just spent the weekend riddled with another bought of depression, triggered by memories of certain places within Calgary I hadn’t been to since my time with my now ex-wife, and former friends and family of mine. It was very abrupt. It was very cruel. And depression doesn’t give two shits if you’re ready to deal with it or not, it comes in waves. I truly felt like I was drowning.

However, the bike ride taught me a few things.

No matter how slow the go is, you just focus on one pedal stroke at a time and you’ll get there. Don’t focus on the result, focus on the process.

Being physically fit to ride across the city at any given time in any given season is fucking rad. I’m grateful for my physical ability and health.

Also, much like overcoming the darkness of mental health, even the most seemingly insignificant victories go a long, long way to the betterment of ones psyche. And you need to close down those past traumas and reinvent yourself.

So while to some the thought of biking home in the cold, dark winter of Calgary in November is just silly… to me it means a lot more.

It’s always darkest before the dawn.

Thanks for listening. If you feel compelled, please consider helping to bring awareness to mens mental health issues in the music industry. I’m very proud to be a part of Mo Music. I’m fundraising for Movember and representing the men in the local music industry. Depression is a fickle bitch, anxiety is running rampant and the stats on men committing suicide are ridiculous. Help keep our music industry men healthy and let them get treatment and have the resources to stay away from the darkness.

After my bought last week I remember all too well how cold that darkness is. -20 on a bike in the dark at 9pm in Calgary has nothing on the deep freeze anxiety and depression has put on me. But I am working on that. I want others to know that they’re not alone.

Please support me and my homies of Mo Music here ———> https://mobro.co/coachschwartzy?mc=1

Every single dollar helps.

Thanks for listening,

 

 

What does it mean to down regulate?

Some people say yoga, stretch, relax, walk, meditate. Well, all of those things could be ways for you to down regulate, but really what I suggest is asking yourself the question – “What do I enjoy doing the most?” What activities do you do that bring a sense of calm, inner peace and a slowness to your breathe unlike anything else?

For me, it can be music or motion, creating, thinking, learning. Other activities that bring me ultimate freedom are when I go for a long bike ride, or a walk with Darwin, my pooch. I just feel like I’m not expecting anything, can embrace nature and live and breathe slowly and focus. It’s a cleansing type of feeling for sure. I hope you have something that makes you feel that way.

I really enjoyed my weekend of “chill vibes”. It was full of down reg. I was able to produce a couple videos, in which I played drums in my first drum cover (stay tuned to Wednesday’s post for the link to my YouTube if you’re into that…) and I was able to do some yoga-fused dynamic stretching, again making a video. Check it out below…

In any case, figure out what things bring you happiness. You can choose to move or sit still. It’s all about finding peace, quieting your mind and learning to breathe again.

Try it out. Please comment and let the rest of us know… How do you down regulate?

Til Wednesday, stay sweet!

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Featured image: Photo by Jamison McAndie on Unsplash

Have you been in a place in your life where you just want to try everything? Like an 8 year old in a toy shop (or in some cases, an adult in a toy shop…), you wanna touch everything…? Okay, for this one I’m here to say “I know what you mean”. Because I really do. These past two weeks I’ve been integrating more “stuff” into my life. Why? I am cat like in personality, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. To keep my interest in all things in my life I crave constant challenge. That’s with everything. Exercise, hobbies, career goals. You name it.

So if you’re one of me… raise your hand. I got you. And there’s actually been TED talks about it. Check it out. —-> https://embed.ted.com/talks/emilie_wapnick_why_some_of_us_don_t_have_one_true_calling

So how do we keep on point with all of those things we want to do? Society tells us we’re weirdos and that we should settle down and see things through. While I agree it’s important to follow through on some things, the ability to identify when you’re not pumped on something and have the guts to switch it up mid flight is far underrated and you should be proud to have that ability. Have you seen my youtube channel yet? I’ve got a bunch of stuff going on. And I love it all. I think you’ll dig it, so take a peek. —> Check out my YouTube Channel!

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To answer the original question; you gotta schedule, list, and make a point to complete tasks. If you’re one that is results or goals driven, you’ll get a lot out of the simple art of crossing off things from a daily list.

 

 

 

 

Let’s take for example me and my Saturday. My list looked like this. I just saved it on a task reminder on my iPhoneScreen Shot 2017-10-08 at 10.32.16 AM.png:

  1. Important to note this list was just my work-related goals for the day. Key principle is to task everything. Include your meal prep, bedtime routine, exercise and time for yourself to down regulate. You’ll start to see what you write down you actually complete.
  2. Don’t worry if you miss something. Tomorrow is a new day, add it up to the list and make an effort to accomplish it then. 1% each day, that’s it.
  3. Order the most important things at the top. Time sensitive and high importance should reign champion. For me, work related deadlines get the prize and on my personal goals, one’s that involve just me top the charts (such as my workouts or exercise for the day – today is yoga).

Make sense?

So if you’re wondering where the name of this blog came from… well, last night as part of my downtime I decided to pick up my guitar and start writing a song. I have had a lot of creativity pent up lately so when I had a melody in my head, I just wrote some simple parts on a guitar to capture it. Nothing fancy, because let’s be honest – I’m a drummer. But it was fulfilling to have my story expressed through music and notes and those little intricacies no-one can explain. And my point? Well, I usually get my creativity out on the drums. But wanted to switch it up this time (You can check it out on my Instagram – look for the drummer with a guitar in his hands…). Like I said, my story started through the notes… the lyrics to follow.

So, that’s me – and if this sounds like you too, I get it. I really do.

I do the same thing with exercise. I go from CrossFit, to hockey, to yoga, to Olympic Weightlifting, to speed skating, to cycling to…to.. to…

And the list goes on.

And I’m okay with that. Because as with exercise, as long as you keep moving forward there’s no right way. Just do you.

Thanks for reading, I’m holding drop in Sunday fitness camps in the next little while so if this excites you and you’re in the Calgary area I’d love to see if we can spark a new interest and give you a new goal to reach for. Check out my open outdoor “Sunday Funday” camps where we do everything from running, to cycling, stairs, bodyweight bootcamp and yoga rain, snow or shine (unless theres a windchill/frostbite warning, then we go for coffee) to see if it’s something you want to give a shot. I have to cap it at a dozen people so we are safe, but this Sunday, October 15 we are headed to Memorial Stairs for a little booty workout! Register below so I can send you a gift and confirmation.

www.mikeschwartz.ca/SundayFunday

Until next time, stay sweet.

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When you’re lost in the woods it’s nice to come across that old bridge again.

The one that heads north –

Out past the river, to the meadow and into the sunshine, warmth and life of the universe.

When you step you to that stage, what’s going through your head? How does your body feel?

Do you feel your chest tighten? Sweaty palms, throat closing up? How’s that feel?

 

If this sounds like you before a gig, you’re not alone. Of all the musicians I work with day in and day out, their stage performance anxiety tends to be a huge obstacle in the way of their success.

So what do we do?

I’ve picked up some tricks that help settle the mind, settle the body and keep my peers, my friends and my clients on the top of their game. While we could stay on this topic all night, I’ve narrowed it down to one simple exercise and a practice I have found effective to calm my bones prior to a show, a big presentation or a talk.

Ready?

Breathe.

That’s it. Here’s the drill: Breathe in for seven seconds through your nose, hold your breathe, then slowly exhale. Aim for working up to making each piece last for 7 seconds or longer. If you wanna take it to the next level, place one finger on your right nostril as you breathe in, then switch to place the finger on your left nostril as you breathe out. Repeat. That gets both sides of the brain working. Mind-body stuff is rad.

I’ve attached a little picture below for you to keep calm and rock on.

Breathe in

Tell your friends and if you have any other questions fire me a note at mike@mikeschwartz.ca or go public on Twitter or Instagram.

 

Til next time, stay sweet.

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